Hot Best Seller

Sound System: The Political Power of Music

Availability: Ready to download

Musicians have often wanted to change the world, and many—from underground grime artists to mainstream pop icons—channel that desire through the political power of music. Music has a unique ability to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions—or, alternatively, to stabilize the status-quo.   Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discove Musicians have often wanted to change the world, and many—from underground grime artists to mainstream pop icons—channel that desire through the political power of music. Music has a unique ability to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions—or, alternatively, to stabilize the status-quo.   Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what exactly makes music so powerful. Years of touring, protesting, and performing have given Dave Randall an insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the most tightly held secrets of celebrity, commodification, and culture. He finds remarkable examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum.   A blistering, intelligent polemic about the political power of music, Sound System investigates the raves, riots, and revolution of contemporary culture to answer the question—how can we make music serve the interest of the many, rather than the few?  


Compare

Musicians have often wanted to change the world, and many—from underground grime artists to mainstream pop icons—channel that desire through the political power of music. Music has a unique ability to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions—or, alternatively, to stabilize the status-quo.   Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discove Musicians have often wanted to change the world, and many—from underground grime artists to mainstream pop icons—channel that desire through the political power of music. Music has a unique ability to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions—or, alternatively, to stabilize the status-quo.   Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what exactly makes music so powerful. Years of touring, protesting, and performing have given Dave Randall an insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the most tightly held secrets of celebrity, commodification, and culture. He finds remarkable examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum.   A blistering, intelligent polemic about the political power of music, Sound System investigates the raves, riots, and revolution of contemporary culture to answer the question—how can we make music serve the interest of the many, rather than the few?  

30 review for Sound System: The Political Power of Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ola

    The book is an enthusiastic mix of analysis, manifesto and personal anecdote. While it might have it's flaws from an academic point of view, it is written from the heart and deserves to be read for its honest and important message. (summed up): 1. We are living under what is effectively a "dictatorship of the shareholders" (p. 193). 2. Rulers have always used the arts in order to pacify the masses and reinforce their position. 3. Today this "meddling in the arts" are coming from big money, and n The book is an enthusiastic mix of analysis, manifesto and personal anecdote. While it might have it's flaws from an academic point of view, it is written from the heart and deserves to be read for its honest and important message. (summed up): 1. We are living under what is effectively a "dictatorship of the shareholders" (p. 193). 2. Rulers have always used the arts in order to pacify the masses and reinforce their position. 3. Today this "meddling in the arts" are coming from big money, and not necessarily from the political leaders. 4. It is important to make music "by us for us" and not just buy into music "by them for us" (p. 97). The concluding "Rebel Music Manifesto" contains points relevant for anyone interested in music.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marisol García

    La mayoría de los libros sobre canción política cubren no mucho más que cinco o seis décadas del siglo XX, y se centran sobre todo en catautoría. Este libro es bastante más amplio, con citas históricas y no necesariamente anglocéntricas. Es un ensayo personal (el autor es músico), sin profusión de citas ni afán de análisis cultural, pero sí profundo y bien documentado.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vic

    La primera mitad del libro merecía 4 estrellas fácilmente, incluso algo más. Dave Randall indaga y rebusca en la relación entre política y música y cómo la una y la otra se han ido intercalando e intentando utilizar. Hace una gran labor de documentación y, utilizando una amplia e interesante bibliografía, desgrana diferentes casos históricos a la par que va dando su punto de vista. Sin embargo, en la segunda mitad del libro todo empieza a ir cuesta abajo. Si bien Randall es conocido —al igual que La primera mitad del libro merecía 4 estrellas fácilmente, incluso algo más. Dave Randall indaga y rebusca en la relación entre política y música y cómo la una y la otra se han ido intercalando e intentando utilizar. Hace una gran labor de documentación y, utilizando una amplia e interesante bibliografía, desgrana diferentes casos históricos a la par que va dando su punto de vista. Sin embargo, en la segunda mitad del libro todo empieza a ir cuesta abajo. Si bien Randall es conocido —al igual que otros muchos artistas— por su implicación política y su visión abiertamente izquierdista, a lo largo de los capítulos se suceden las peroratas, que van perdiendo trasfondo a medida que se repiten y la moralina empieza a verse entre las líneas. El autor estira y repite ideas hasta la saciedad, como en una suerte de manifiesto inconcluso, y cae en contradicciones y populismos que hacen que seguir leyendo se vaya haciendo cuesta arriba. Le doy tres estrellas como calificación final porque el libro ejerce de trampolín para lecturas más profundas y completas y por la bibliografía empleada.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    Part theory, part memoir, part history - this is an incredibly accessible introduction to the application of critical theory to the modern music industry. This is precisely what a book on critical theory for the average audience should look like. Anyone could read this, even without a familiarity with theory. I read it in a couple hours. Randall provides a theoretical framework in the beginning, referencing the likes of Adorno and Zizek, explicating the complexities and different approaches to ' Part theory, part memoir, part history - this is an incredibly accessible introduction to the application of critical theory to the modern music industry. This is precisely what a book on critical theory for the average audience should look like. Anyone could read this, even without a familiarity with theory. I read it in a couple hours. Randall provides a theoretical framework in the beginning, referencing the likes of Adorno and Zizek, explicating the complexities and different approaches to 'high'/'fine' art and 'low'/'pop' art and the nuances therein. From there he explores historical events that he can use his proposed theoretical framework to analyze, culminating in a multi-faceted approach to Beyonce's performance at the Super Bowl, showing how Leftists of all colors simultaneously loved and hated it. Refreshingly, his analyses are not solely on Western or European popular music. He provides a brief history of music under neoliberalism, explaining how each generation of artists often gets co-opted by the system and must be replaced by a new generation and so on and so forth. It then turns more memoir-y where he explores his own personal experiences in the industry from these various perspectives. He finishes with a call to action and provides a pragmatic approach on what said action could look like - something sorely missing from many Leftist cultural critiques. This book could most easily be totalized as analyzing "music for us by us" as opposed to "music by them for us," wherein the prior is used to instill a sense of community, love, compassion, and resistance, and the latter is used to indoctrinate and propagandize. Having made multiple lifelong friendships through a local underground music scene, I can certainly attest to the radical and communal nature made available by music. "Of course not all music can or should be overtly political. Even the most committed political musicians have understood this. Woody Guthrie didn't just write songs in opposition to fascism and the bosses, he also penned nonsensical ditties for children and whimsical songs of love and lust. We need ambiguity in art, room for interpretation; music that invites a conversation about its meaning rather than delivers a line. But even when music isn't directly political, we can still engage in the battle for context - for the perceived values of the musicians who create it."

  5. 4 out of 5

    RuloZetaka

    ¿Eres musica o músico? ¿Has organizado un evento de música? ¿Eres una persona obsesiva con la música? ¿Has escuchado a un solitario guitarrista desgarrarse la garganta frente a un micrófono en una manifestación? ¿Has bailado y dando tumbos en un bar de mala muerte con una banda de ska? ¿Has hecho tiktoks con rap feminista? ¿Has rolado un toque en un evento de reggae? ¿Has llorado mientras bailas con una nostálgica salsa que narra un suceso político? Si le diste si a alguna de estas preguntas, o si piens ¿Eres musica o músico? ¿Has organizado un evento de música? ¿Eres una persona obsesiva con la música? ¿Has escuchado a un solitario guitarrista desgarrarse la garganta frente a un micrófono en una manifestación? ¿Has bailado y dando tumbos en un bar de mala muerte con una banda de ska? ¿Has hecho tiktoks con rap feminista? ¿Has rolado un toque en un evento de reggae? ¿Has llorado mientras bailas con una nostálgica salsa que narra un suceso político? Si le diste si a alguna de estas preguntas, o si piensas en otras que seguro van más allá de mi experiencia, este libro podría caer en tus manos y ser una maravilla. Dave Randall narra una vida que todos hemos visto pero que no hemos presenciado como él, la música y su relación con el poder político y también con los movimientos desde abajo. Ya sea que escuches o no música de protesta, no cae nada mal echarle un ojo a todo lo que hay detrás, hacer un playlist de lo que propone y pensar a qué [email protected] le agregarías. Ya de últimas, no estaría nada mal hacer una lista de musiques con quienes quisieras conversar de lo que propone y observa Randall, la mía fue al menos: Rubén Blades, Anita Tijoux, Manu Chao, Rebeca Lane y Fermín Muguruza.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Subvert

    I really liked it. I am very interested in the connection between music and politics. Music and culture has always seem to be of extreme political importance to me, but it's something I would like to put into words better. So I have been looking for books that investigate the connection. This book is a bit of general account, but I actually liked how there were examples from Imperial China to the Church in Medieval times to the CIA during the Cold War. Somewhere in the last chapters Dave Randall I really liked it. I am very interested in the connection between music and politics. Music and culture has always seem to be of extreme political importance to me, but it's something I would like to put into words better. So I have been looking for books that investigate the connection. This book is a bit of general account, but I actually liked how there were examples from Imperial China to the Church in Medieval times to the CIA during the Cold War. Somewhere in the last chapters Dave Randall comes out as an activist (and former SWP member) and it becomes a little bit more manifesto-like which found slightly less interesting I would still like to read more accounts of politics and club-culture or the radical politics of rave and sound system collectives. Randall references Luton's Exodus and Spiral Tribe but doesn't go deeper into them as he argues that for most of the ravers it wasn't about the politics.

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Greenwood

    Sound System by Dave Randall is a book about the struggles of society through the ages, and the part music has played along the way. I was initially sceptical about how interesting this book would be, but by the end of page one was proven completely wrong. Their are fascinating insights into, not just the history of music & instruments, but also the legacy they have left. We visit a number of points in history, and even more places on our journey around the globe, looking at conflict, revolution Sound System by Dave Randall is a book about the struggles of society through the ages, and the part music has played along the way. I was initially sceptical about how interesting this book would be, but by the end of page one was proven completely wrong. Their are fascinating insights into, not just the history of music & instruments, but also the legacy they have left. We visit a number of points in history, and even more places on our journey around the globe, looking at conflict, revolution and a communal sense of isolation. Which have driven, and been driven by the development of music from both ends of the political spectrum. Well worth a read! Thank you to the author and publisher for this Goodreads Giveaway.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aris Setyawan

    The writer is a musician session for several famous pop musicians. This book is interesting because it was written by musicians working in the realm of pop music but can write a book about how music can be very political. Moral of the story is, that whatever the type of music, music can be very political. Political music does not necessarily become the exclusive rights of certain genres such as punk or hip-hop, which is said to have been political since the womb. I read this book quite slowly, on The writer is a musician session for several famous pop musicians. This book is interesting because it was written by musicians working in the realm of pop music but can write a book about how music can be very political. Moral of the story is, that whatever the type of music, music can be very political. Political music does not necessarily become the exclusive rights of certain genres such as punk or hip-hop, which is said to have been political since the womb. I read this book quite slowly, only after a few months. However, I did not consider those months to be harmful because I finally gained a new understanding of politics in music and political music. Highly recommended for all who like to observe the intersection between music and politics.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anibal

    Dave Randall logra un relato ameno de la protesta social y la lucha de clases en distintas geografías y épocas a través de su música combativa. Hace un llamado de atención en relación a combatir en primera instancia la alienación, impulsada por nuestro entorno, con una solidaridad musical, no solo entre músicos sino entre todos los entes activos alrededor de este arte: público, ingenieros, gestores, etc. Mientras que se extrañan (más) ejemplos de América Latina y Asia, existe un análisis y relat Dave Randall logra un relato ameno de la protesta social y la lucha de clases en distintas geografías y épocas a través de su música combativa. Hace un llamado de atención en relación a combatir en primera instancia la alienación, impulsada por nuestro entorno, con una solidaridad musical, no solo entre músicos sino entre todos los entes activos alrededor de este arte: público, ingenieros, gestores, etc. Mientras que se extrañan (más) ejemplos de América Latina y Asia, existe un análisis y relatoria de eventos sociales y su 'soundtrack' en África, el Caribe, Europa y EE.UU. Lectura enriquecedora e indispensable para les activistas musicales.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maria Longley

    It's very interesting to get a musician's view on the political power of music and the reflections from within the industry. This is a great primer for the ideas and movements of music within history and a look at some cases where it really has played its part in commenting on our world and in some cases helping to change it. There are many interesting stories (some that I needed to share immediately out loud). With such a vast topic it can of course only scratch the surface, but it does so with It's very interesting to get a musician's view on the political power of music and the reflections from within the industry. This is a great primer for the ideas and movements of music within history and a look at some cases where it really has played its part in commenting on our world and in some cases helping to change it. There are many interesting stories (some that I needed to share immediately out loud). With such a vast topic it can of course only scratch the surface, but it does so with wit and passion, and a call to action in the rebel music manifesto too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Oleva Berard

    If consider yourself more liberal and a music fan, you'll love it. Doesn't pull any punches toward right leaning people. Made really great historical references and ideas that will definitely stick with me for a long time. If consider yourself more liberal and a music fan, you'll love it. Doesn't pull any punches toward right leaning people. Made really great historical references and ideas that will definitely stick with me for a long time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    A well-intentioned book about the possibility of music to be employed to service the fight for democracy. A few references to Adorno, Trotsky, Ernst Fisher etc

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fubzi

    A very interesting perspective with the possibility of being inspirational. Easy to read with lots of fascinating illustrations and first hand knowledge that enhance his argument.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rob Platts

    Inspiring and informative! Highly recommended

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gemma Cayce

    As fascinating to read as he was to listen to during his lecture in Leicester.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ruari Paterson-Achenbach

    really good! Much better than i expected actually

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Manso Garcia

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ismael Martínez Guarné

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ash Lucas

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard Bilsborough

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mcr

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kim Macari

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tilly Mair

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aira Bekerytė

  27. 4 out of 5

    Yusuf Mahmoud

  28. 5 out of 5

    Livia Damaceno

  29. 5 out of 5

    Richard Ogle

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joe Cook

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.